Realtor.com asks home shoppers what they would like to know about homeowners insurance and their questions were answered by Allstate insurance experts. If you are in the market for a home, you should become familiar with homeowners insurance. It is important to get good homeowners insurance and understand your policy. Here are some questions and answers below.

1. I’m a first-time home buyer. What should I consider when choosing insurance? – Cynda from Florida

Just like the home you choose, your insurance policy will fit you and your needs. A musician will be interested in protecting their musical instruments while other homeowners might want protection on their garage because of their car collections.

An insurance expert can help you set up your policy with your unique coverage. You can get a personalized quote and make sure all your needs are covered.

“Your home is one of your most valuable assets,” say the experts at Allstate. “Make sure your homeowners insurance protects you and your family in many kinds of situations involving not only your home itself but also the things you own.”

2. What are the most common types of claims? What is the claims process like? – Emily from Colorado

Prepare for the unexpected, that is why homeowners insurance is so important. Many homes get damaged from wind, hail, plumbing failures, theft, and fire. When you do have to put a claim in for damage to your home, your insurance company will work with you and answer all your questions and concerns. Your agent will help you with the process by assessing the damage and helping you recover your losses.

3. How is condo insurance different from home insurance? How can I make sure my condo insurance has the coverage I need? – Maria from Virginia

Condo insurance is different because it only covers your unit and the belongings in the unit. Usually, the condo building is insured under your condo association’s insurance policy which covers things like the boiler room, the roof, hallways and other shared spaces. Make sure to get your agent to explain what is covered. Some policies will cover the wall and floor in your specific unit.

4. Are there any surprising things that aren’t covered by a typical homeowners insurance policy? – Emily from Colorado

Surprisingly a flood and earthquake damage are not covered in a regular insurance policy. Both require a separate additional policy on top of your regular homeowners insurance. Make sure you have a clear understanding of what is covered. Things such as an outside sewer or drain might need additional coverage.

5. Does my homeowners insurance cover small damages, like a stolen bike? – Maria from Virginia

This would be under personal property coverage which usually covers theft. Make sure the stolen items are worth more than your deductible before you claim it on your insurance. If your deductible is not met your insurance will not pay for the claim. Make sure to review coverage limits with your agent who will customize your coverage to fit your needs. An agent can help you choose any additional coverage if you take note of the possessions such as sports equipment and riding lawn mowers that might need to be part of your policy.

6. What are some things homeowners can do to help lower the cost of their homeowners insurance? – Emily from Colorado

There are several things you can do to help reduce your rates. Increasing your deductible can reduce your premium payments. Bundling policies such as home and auto will give you a discount. Other ways you might get a discount are if you are a new homeowner, switch insurance providers without having a recent claim,
set up automatic payments to pay your insurance premium or are age 55+ and retired.

Remember when looking for homeowners insurance always seek a professional’s advice. Even though a policy is cheaper than another, it might not cover everything you need. Shop around and talk to a couple of insurance agents in your area for the best fit and price for you.

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